18 Health Myths That Doctors Say We Should Stop Believing

There are so many conflicting schools of thought on health and well-being that it can be hard to know what to believe. If you’re wondering how much you’ve been told about healthcare is false, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled 18 health myths that doctors wish you’d stop believing.

You Can Catch a Cold from Being Cold

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While it’s good practice to stay warm when venturing out into cold weather to avoid hypothermia or other health issues, you cannot catch a cold from being cold. This myth likely stems from the fact that people tend to stay indoors more during cold weather, which increases their chances of spreading diseases.

Cracking Your Knuckles Causes Arthritis

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You may have heard that cracking your knuckles can cause arthritis, but this is simply not true. Studies reveal that there is no correlation between cracking one’s knuckles and developing arthritis. However, constantly cracking your knuckles could eventually lead to reduced grip strength.

Eating Carrots Improves Your Night Vision

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Carrots are good for you and contain vitamin A, which is important for eye health. However, it is a myth that eating carrots gives you superior night vision. According to BBC Science Focus, this myth was originally spread during World War II as part of British propaganda.

Reading in Dim Light Ruins Your Eyesight

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While reading in dim light may be uncomfortable and cause temporary eye strain, these negative effects are not long-lasting and will not ruin your eyesight. However, it is still recommended to read in well-lit rooms to prevent irritation or dryness.

You Need to Drink Eight Glasses of Water a Day

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Most of us have heard at some point that we should drink eight glasses of water a day. If this sounds like a lot to you, that’s because, for most people, it is significantly more than enough. The amount of water you need varies greatly depending on your climate and individual health, but Harvard Health recommends that most people should aim for 4–6 cups per day.

Eating Sugar Causes Hyperactivity in Children

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Too much sugar is bad for anyone. However, it is a myth that a higher sugar intake leads to hyperactivity in children. It is likely that people believe this to be true because children are likely to become more energetic and excitable in situations involving sugary foods, such as parties and other social occasions.

You Must Detox Your Body Regularly

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A lot of people seem to believe that we must regularly detoxify our bodies using strange diets and drinks. However, this is not true. When our bodies are functioning correctly, the liver, kidney, and other organs will detoxify the blood and get rid of toxins all by themselves.

Microwaving Food Destroys Its Nutrients

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Some people think that microwaving food depletes it of its nutrients and vitamins. But in reality, other cooking methods, such as boiling, can lead to much greater nutrient loss than microwaving.

Swallowed Gum Stays in Your Stomach for Years

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As a kid, you may have heard that you should never swallow gum because it can stay in your stomach for years if you do. While it’s best not to swallow gum as it will not be digested, it will still pass through the digestive system and out the other end.

A Base Tan Prevents Sunburn

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Some people mistakenly believe that if they have a tan, they will be significantly more protected against sun damage. While a tan can provide a small amount of protection, it is minimal. Therefore, it’s still important to ensure you use plenty of sunscreen before going out in the sun.

Going Out with Wet Hair Makes You Sick

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Going out in the cold with wet hair is usually a bad idea, as it can be damaging to your hair and cause you to feel even colder. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, contrary to popular belief, this in itself will not make you sick.

You Lose Most of Your Body Heat Through Your Head

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Many people think that you lose most of your body heat through the top of your head, but this is a myth. Any exposed skin will make you lose more body heat, no matter where it is located on your body.

Eating at Night Makes You Gain Weight

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Another common health myth is that eating at night makes you gain more weight than at other times of the day. But in reality, weight gain is determined by calorie intake versus expenditure and is not significantly impacted by eating times.

If You Shave Your Hair, It Will Grow Back Thicker

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It is a common misconception that if you shave hair on any part of your body, it will grow back thicker. One’s hair thickness and rate of growth are determined by their genetics rather than how much one shaves.

Chocolate Causes Acne

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According to The Conversation, it is a myth that chocolate causes acne. While one’s diet can affect their likelihood of getting acne, there is no direct correlation between chocolate consumption and acne.

Sitting Too Close to the TV Damages Your Eyes

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You may remember your parents or peers telling you that you shouldn’t sit too close to the TV if you don’t want to damage your vision. But good news—sitting a short distance away from a TV will not cause permanent vision damage. However, it is still not recommended, as it can cause eye strain and irritation.

You Should Drink Milk to Strengthen Bones

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Milk is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, which do contribute to bone health. However, many people seem to believe that drinking milk is the only thing you need to do to maintain bone health. In reality, you can gain these nutrients from a wide range of foods, and other factors such as physical exercise are equally important.

Only Elderly People Need to Worry About High Blood Pressure

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Some people mistakenly believe that high blood pressure is an issue only older people need to worry about. However, people of all ages and backgrounds can develop this issue, so it’s important to look out for symptoms and get the necessary support if needed.

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